Situated within the rolling hills of Australia's Somersby in New South Wales, about an hour's drive north of Sydney, this bijou structure is an exclusive private spa and guest house, linked to a larger residence on the same grounds. Designed by Sydney-based practice Matthew Woodward Architecture, the Wirra Willa Pavilion is a small but perfectly formed domestic retreat.
Created to offer guests and visitors the chance to revel in the site's rich green landscape, the pavilion is intrinsically tied to its surroundings. 'It is a Miesian-inspired glass pavilion situated in a vibrant and fertile, rural landscape setting not dissimilar to that portrayed in a Claude Monet painting,' says Mathew Woodward. Part of the 80-acre property, the low glass and metal pavilion is situated remotely within the estate, its location adding to the sense of calm and wellness intended by its use.
The pavilion's simple floorplan comprises a bedroom on one end and main lounge and spa area on the other, divided by services and a wet room. The fully transparent spa section weightlessly cantilevers over the adjacent natural spring-fed dam. The bed area is also fully glazed but can be closed off using a light curtain, offering instant privacy.
'Simplicity was essential to the success of the project,' explains Woodward. 'The aim was to create an elegant, unobtrusive incision into the landscape that allows for both prospect and refuge.' Strategically located on a spot with optimal views, orientation and climate, the light structure offers excellent vistas of the verdant gardens of the estate, rendering it an ideal mini sanctuary.